4 Things We Love About Brass

The world of metalworking and machining is broad, in part because there are so many varieties of metal to play with.

One of the most forgiving metals to cut is brass, and here’s four reasons we love to work with it.

It’s Easy

Brass is incredibly soft, which is why it is so easy to cut. This metal brings new meaning to the phrase, “cuts like butter.” This is what makes this metal so forgiving when it comes to feeds and speeds. Fast, slow, or just about anything in between, if you’re learning to machine, it is a great metal to get started.

Unless you have piles of chips inside a pocket, brass rarely needs coolant. Like other soft metals, this metal can get gummy, but more often than not, the chips are easy to clear with any sort of cutter.

naval-brass-rod-bar-C44300-C3600-C3700series

It’s Shiny

If you’re short on cash, brass probably isn’t the best route, since it can get quite pricey, but it does have a beautiful sheen when cutting is done. It can’t be argued that you’ll feel a little richer (or maybe poorer, depending on your perspective) cleaning up these chips instead of aluminum.

To that same end, brass polishes up much nicer than a lot of metals, providing a truly finished look.

It’s Versatile

While we focus mostly on cutting characteristics, brass is quite versatile when it comes to a shop. Our favorite peripheral use is as a shim. Because this metal is so soft, it works well as a non-marring shim in an array of applications.

It Has Character

While I already mentioned the shiny aspect of brass, it can’t be argued that this metal has a lot of character. Many metals, when shined up, are quite uniform, but the metal tends to show some varying colors and sheens. Some people hate metal with variance, but we love a metal with some character.

What do you love about brass? Comment below or email cfox@tormach.com.

Learn more about cutting, read: Coolant and Cutting Tool

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Chris Fox

Chris comes from a publishing background with years of experience in science, technology, and engineering publications. Previously an editor with Product Design and Development and Gizmag, he has a keen eye on the maker community and the changing landscape of the world of prototyping, product development, and small-scale manufacturing. Chris has been working with clients to create Tormach's customer success stories since 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheChris_Fox

Chris Fox

One thought on “4 Things We Love About Brass

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    February 9, 2017 at 11:01 pm
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    In addition to using brass as a shim, there are also brass hammers. You can also hit a piece of brass with a regular hammer as a tool to avoid marring your workpiece.

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